Family Things to do in Lakeland FL
April has arrived and along with it the great Central Florida Spring weather. While many other states are still waiting to thaw out from their brutal winter here in Lakeland FL the sun is shining bright. Here in Lakeland, FL there isn’t a better way to bring in the Spring than to celebrate at First Friday in downtown Lakeland and this Friday’s theme is Motorcycle Mania. Folks who are accustomed to First Fridays in downtown Lakeland, FL are accustom to the Classic Car show but this month you can expect to be wowed with some spectacular Motorcycles. Some other great activities you should not miss at this Motorcycle Mania include live music, the classic car show, and the great restaurants and shops located around Munn Park that stay open later for this fun night.
This week marks the start of another Annual event for Lakeland, FL. The 40th Annual Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in at the Lakeland Linder Airport and Sun ‘n Fun Museum. This year also marks the return of some of the most advanced piloting witnessed in the world by the United States Navy Blue Angels. If you have never attended one of the Fly In hosted here in Lakeland this year is a year you do not want to miss. There will be hundreds of other amazing aircraft on display this year that you would not want to miss including the Air Force’s F-22. This is sure to be a great event unmatched by past years. This event will be happening April 1-6. Check out this year’s schedule by clicking this link here
Finally next week marks the return of the Second Annual Ice Cream Festival also hosted at the SUN ‘n FUN campus. With last years turn out in the 30,000 range this year they have added a second day to the event with more musicians to enjoy the days with. Some other events going on throughout this event include an Ice Cream eating contest with last years champion returning to defend his title, there will be an ice cream eating contest between some of Polk County’s elected officials, and many other events to help entertain you next weekend. So take the weekend and go visit this festival April 12-13. Click here to check out the event’s schedule.
Lakeland’s annual Sun n’ Fun Fly-In hosted by the City of Lakeland and the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport for the past 35 years is widely termed the Spring Break for Pilots here in the US and across the globe. What I like most about the event is that it brings together aviation pros from all over the world, and from all facets of the aviation community to enjoy what is considered to be the best fly-in experience ever.
Each year, Sun n’ Fun provides a huge economic boost to Lakeland’s economy by bringing in an average of 160,000 visitors from around the country. According to the official Sun n’ Fun website, as recently as 2008, the event attracted some 1,300 international visitors as well – coming to Lakeland from as many as 73 countries, including first-time visitors from Tanzania, Botswana, Oman and Singapore!
All told, the fly-in brings about $27 million to Lakeland each year. So, you can see why it plays a very important role in the success of our local community.
From Vintage to Experimental – Sun n’ Fun Covers it All
Each year, pilots participating in the fly-in consist of owners who fly their aircraft to the event from all parts of the United States and Canada. Many pilots fly their personal vintage, home-built planes or restored ex-military aircraft.
One very special lady, Experimental aircraft pilot Arty Trost, flew an open-cockpit 55-mph Maxair Drifter (Ultralight Style aircraft) from Oregon to Florida for the Sun n’ Fun airshow.
This past year, the event involved the following:
- A host of WWII-era aircraft
- The U.S. Army Golden Parachute Team- this will be their first appearance at Sun ‘n Fun
- Rocket Racing demonstrations
- A Friday night air show
- A Saturday afternoon hot air balloon launch
- Earth Day activities all week long in honor of the April 22 holiday
If you’re planning to purchase a piece of, you have to admit that having the Sun n’ Fun close by is a major benefit!